KERNAGHAN - THE WOLFE BROTHERS - PALMS AT CROWN CASINO
DIEMENS LAND WOLVES HOWLING AT CROWN MOON
It would seem a timely ascension from the Deep South rock n roll pubs
and B & S balls of the land time forgot to reality TV to the plush
palace on the Yarra.
Brothers, vastly ignored by trapped in time Tassie country taste makers
but greeted with glee by Australia, You've Got Talent viewers,
proved they deserved their break on the mainland.
Luckily the diverse demographic spread across this superior viewing enclosure
was treated to accessible country music - not rock refuse - on the pre-concert
This made it easy for the Wolfe Brothers - yes, guitarist singer Nick
and bassist Tom are siblings - and younger guitarist Brodie Rainbird and
drummer Casey Kostiuk are kinfolk in an islander sort of way.
It may have been fierce island pride or just natural talent but the quartet
wrote all 10 songs on their debut album It's On and only included
one cover in their live set.
They kicked off with the autobiographical One Way State Of Mind
and the exultant escape from a ruptured romance in Highway Sky.
The sympathetic sound mix enabled singer Nick to massage messages as a
concise conduit to an audience unlikely to have been made word perfect
by a mainstream radio medium.
Sure, some of the audience may have heard The Wolfe Brothers on community
and ABC radio and CMC Pay TV but touring with the Aussie country king
was their most vibrant vehicle for exposure.
They punctuated their tunes Loving In The Summertime and their
joyous living for the weekend anthem All We Wanna Do with homespun
"Nick dropped out of uni and worked in a fish factory," bassist
brother Tom - a carpenter by trade not a novelist - revealed between songs.
Nick returned fire by revealing Wake Up was penned with Tom after
two sleeping pills laid him low on the eve of a writing session.
The sweet sibling harmonies, aided by the mixer, ignited Dangerous
and a "romantic misadventure" suffered by Tom ensured a "great
song was born" in The Girl, The Bottle, The Memory.
It's quite clear the quartet were chasing the dreams of expat Australasian
superstar Keith Urban when they honoured him with his hit Somebody
The enthusiasm of young guitarist Rainbird and drummer Kostiuk complimented
their older band colleagues - especially energetic bassist Tom.
Their fitting finale was the album title track It's On - another
rural rooted freedom chasing living for the weekend anthem of sorts.
The Wolfe Brothers captured the spirit of country music with a light rock
overcoat without diluting their blissful island innocence.
Rejection by folks stuck in a tawdry time warp may be the blessing in
disguise they need to swim in a much bigger pond here and maybe overseas.
Will the wolf survive?
Well, the strength of their future original songs will be a bucolic barometer.
But at least they have their touring partner - Aussie country king Lee
Kernaghan - as a kind and generous benefactor on that journey.
It's a similar altruistic gesture to that enjoyed by The McClymonts in
their embryonic touring genesis.
NOISE WAVES PALMS
country king Lee Kernaghan didn't need an introduction so he didn't receive
one but he introduced his touring band The Wolfe Brothers - also his backing
group - after they kicked the dew off the glass with his 9th album title
track Beautiful Noise.
Lee's singing spouse Robby also played piano on Something In The Water
from his Electric Rodeo album that also shared title with a Shooter
The singer reached back to his Riverina roots - including grandfather
Patrick's droving of sheep and cattle - and Albury for his Bachelor &
Spinsters Balls birth for Boys From The Bush.
Then, after referencing recently fire ravaged Harrietville, he dug up
But, then it was time for a little audience interaction, with Nick Clarkson
from Geelong who had asked Lee on Facebook for a little help with a begging
Yes, you guessed it - almost as gripping as Geelong winning a premiership
every two years.
Nick got down on bended knee front and centre of the stage with an engagement
ring and said he had a question for Jess's birthday - a proposal.
Luckily, she accepted and the newly engaged couple were rewarded with
a chilled bottle of champers from the star and the show went on with apt
love song Goondiwindi Moon.
This enabled the singer and band to return to eighth album title track
Planet Country, She's my Ute and the timely Love In The
Time Of Drought.
Now it was time to introduce Robby as a duet partner on Springsteen classic
"She's working on a new album," the singer revealed before he
returned to the piano for a rollicking version of Jerry Lee Lewis's Great
Balls Of Fire.
Kernaghan announced he spent the previous day at a Sydney airport working
on his video for new single Flying With The King - his latest eulogy
to the late bush balladeer and mentor Slim Dusty.
After an evocative delivery of the historic song that also paid tribute
to Reg Ansett it was time for more audience reaction.
"I autographed a young boy's bald head today," Lee revealed
as he introduced some young cancer patients in the audience with a little
help from the Make A Wish Foundation.
"He's only nine and wrote a great song in hospital."
Supporting the less fortunate has long been a trump card in the Corryong
born, Albury raised star's deck so it was a perfect segue to I'm An
Kernaghan then honoured novelist Tim Winton with Dirt Music and
rewarded two buxom lasses with Ute Me tank tops during his delivery
of that recent single.
"I visited Horsham in the middle of the 2008 drought and me this
farmer told me he had lost his house, his farm and almost his mind but
he never gave up," Kernaghan recalled.
"He never lost his family but he gave me the source of this next
song Spirit Of The Bush."
By song 17 it was time for Outback Club and the joyous Texas,
"I've got this other new guitarist," revealed as he introduced
former Chasing Bailey young gun Dan Conway, just 21, who also soloed on
"Dan is living in Melbourne and he has his own new CD."
The 18 song finale encore was another Slim Dusty tribute - Joy McKean
penned Lights on The Hill that segued into Slim singing Waltzing
Matilda and shock horror the AC-DC classic It's A Long Way To The
Top on the house PA.
It may have been the end of the show but the star had another interactive
task - an hour of autographs for the boys and girls from the bush in the
Yo, it's a vast contrast to the rapacious rock stars who flee their audiences
in stretch limos.
by David Dawson
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